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Breaking Away From Big Things


 

I'm back! And am I so glad, too! 

This break has been just what was needed. But where to start? How to update you all? Is it even possible? 

I never did get back on here to let you all know how elections went for my dad. I made one post on Facebook and Instagram. Suffice it to say, my dad isn't a state senator, and yet we did really well as a Libertarian running against an incumbent and received a little over twenty percent of the vote. If my dad decides to run again, I know just what to do (and not do!), and am certain we might win. 

That being said, as soon as I decided to take the social media posting break, I realized, "I'm actually fine and was just being melodramatic. I have so many things to share!" 

I stopped myself, remembering this wasn't a decision made on a whim, but the build-up of months, almost a couple years. In a way, I haven't had a chance to breathe since I went to Above Rubies. And this last year has been beyond hectic all on its own, preluded by my "coming out" about my heritage, my long stay in Germany. COVID and finally my dad's campaign, but still having work and torrent of other blessed interests just were the cherry on top. 

"I'm tired of doing big things," I realized. 

And so I went on my first lone road trip . . . and enjoyed ne'er posting a single memory, soaking up each moment, being quiet and hearing the sounds of existence. I lived without care for an entire month. 

I rediscovered the small under the suffocating layers of my big life. 

Back of my car! Started out with a bunch of butchered chickens for delivery, piles of sourdough for gifts, and the few things I wished to keep me company on the many miles ahead. 

The week before I left was full of things trying to keep me from going, it seemed. 
Too much campaign paperwork (that lasted through the road trip all the way into December). 
Hundreds of chickens and turkeys needing to be butchered. 
My housecleaning business exploded once more. 
My car broke down multiple times (including the day before I left! It took a friend an entire day to fix it! I just made him a loaf of banana bread last night as a belated thank you gift). 

I wondered if I ought to still go . . . only for a half-second. I was determined. 

To add to the terrifying experience, I moved out of my bedroom of eight years into a house of my own. I brought my bed with me (pictured above) in my car so I wouldn't have an excuse to return home. 

And so November began. 
To be honest, I was not in a good place when I began the road trip. Days before leaving, an older couple took me aside and I cried for hours, it seemed. They told me, "Be careful on your trip. You're quite vulnerable right now."

The first couple of days, I felt burdened with so much pain. It's hard to explain now, but there was this huge weight on my heart that I didn't own. I told a friend, "I feel so awful. And I don't know why, because I have no personal pain. I should be happy. Life is good for me." 

She told me a story of people connecting on a soul level with others, and that she thought I had that with a certain person. Once I would have laughed. Suddenly it made so much sense. And like that, I began to feel light, free, and . . . overjoyed. 

That first stop equipped me, every other place afterward confirmed a thread weaving a revelation into my heart, strengthening it with a beautiful serenity I am still marveling over. 
"I don't want to put shoes on, and I don't want to take my socks off. Think I can reach the clothesline from the porch?" I asked Grandma. 
"But what about clothespins?"
"If I throw them on far enough, they won't need those!"

Someday I would love to just jump in my car and drive who-knows-where for forever. But this trip did have a purpose. To visit my grandparents. While I was in Germany, I promised to come and help them with stuff. But then the campaign happened. And I didn't want to fly with all the craziness. So I told them, "I'll drive down the day after elections."

Due to not being able to tie up things fast enough, I left two days after.

Several days in, as driving through Kansas and stressing over which toll road to take (later I discovered I'd chosen the wrong one by way of a violation in the mail. Oops), it dawned upon me that I hadn't been home since I was sixteen. 

I was twelve when I'd last seen my mother's parents, and it had been several years since my last grandparents had visited. It was then that I realized these last years and months had somehow been leading to this. All those big adventures and this was to be the one that dwarfed them all. At least in my heart. 

I never had a chance to sleep in my car because of friends or family! Almost every night, I stayed with some wonderful person I hadn't seen in years (or never met at all!). About a half week into my trip, I arrived in Missouri, where I stayed with an off-grid family I'd discovered on Facebook. Since my legs were done driving, I spent some extra time with them fencing, hauling brush, milking goats, sewing, and riding horses! 

A few aunts, cousins, and friends later brought me closer to the place that made me hate moving: my favorite childhood home. 

Walking on the grounds where our home used to be, where I used to play and read and boss my younger siblings felt so familiar . . . and so strange. Kinda like I was trespassing ;) (I couldn't find anyone to ask permission from) 

When we first left this cherished place, I was ten and thought I'd be home in a couple months. I believed for years we'd always go back. Even after we sold the place, I prayed we'd buy it back. I did learn to love other Missouri homes, even our Amish house, but deep down, even at sixteen, I always thought I might go back. Even if maybe with a husband. 

The pear tree, now forlorn, missing the children that used to climb up high for his fruit. 
This was my tree, where I kept my rock collection and read books. None of my siblings were allowed near it. I think I also had a long stick. 
The tire swing dad built us still hangs! This is my favorite picture of my entire trip. 
All of us would try to climb to the very top. Only Jerushah ever made it.

And so I said goodbye to the home I loved best, understanding that now Montana did feel like home, and I would be glad to go back. Though I wonder if it's really the place anymore? Rather, and the life I've made might be grounded anywhere I choose to shelve my books, as long as the neighbors are worth having. 



These last two photos are of blogging/ writing friends, E Kaiser Writes and Melissa Little! I'm so glad it worked out to meet them both! Melissa prepared such a yummy picnic breakfast. She and I've been talking a lot this last year over social media. She's been such an inspiration to my work and has even heard some of my personal struggles that I've told to hardly anyone else. 

While traveling I observed three different sabbaths: Saturday, Sunday, and the Lunar Sabbath, which happened to be on Monday. I saw domesticated water buffalo, ate okra pickles (my favorite!), visited random thrift stores, and finished listening to the City of God by Saint Augustine of Hippo!

And now for a few pictures of some of my favorite people! 
So loved meeting Esther's daughter, Gethsamane! 








And now for some family pictures!!!!






(I saw more people, but can't find pictures of everyone!)
<besides, there are too many pictures, already, right?>
And we haven't even got to my destination . . . 
That's how my grandparents felt, too ;p 


It was so lovely getting to know these grandparents! I've only met them less than half a dozen times due to family drama, estrangements, etc. I loved hearing their stories, their beliefs and passions, and ideas. My grandmother is so talented! She had some funny songs she sang, some beautiful artwork, clever stories, and even some great advice to share ;) My grandfather lead great discussions on all sorts of biblical topics, finding ways to add a little spark of humor. The last few days with them were beyond wonderful, but also a little sad at times. To think that family separates over issues, mostly over misunderstandings that could have been worked through by laying aside pride and fears; through communicating with loving intentions void of conditions. Everyone is trying now, but so much has still been lost over the years. 

While there, I heard so many stories that explained more of our family heritages, vernacular, etc. One of my favorite authors, Harold Bell Wright, I found, was actually first introduced to our family through my grandmother's sixth-grade teacher. I always would tell people I liked this author more for unexplainable sentimental reasons. But now I may explain why. How neat is that? 

I also learned the roots of many of my fears, mostly those related to romance. 

I told an older friend later, "It was like a piece of me that I never knew was broken has been healed."

They were an amazing few days that I hope will lead to a full-out reconciliation. But who knows? Wrong is never only on one side, but the consequences spread out to more than the two participating parties. 
One of my grandmother's drawings

This is a bookmark my grandmother gave me that my great-great-grandmother tatted. She was half Native American and discovered that her husband of her eight children had been previously married to another woman, with whom he also had eight children. 


These grandparents I know much better. And yet, this trip still had its moments of enlightenment. I felt like crying as I saw things I'd seen before, but not quite as I understood them now. Mostly I just laughed, and played the piano, and sewed, and helped Grandma bake and cook. And I went on an eight or so mile bike ride with Grampa! Ah, time is always too short, even on the longest road trips. 

Aha, I think I made too many cinnamon rolls for us!

Montana

Missouri

I didn't only go to Missouri, but Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Texas, and all the states between ;) I spoke in Arkansas to a bunch of woman on how to raise their babies up to live full lives without social securities or birth certificates, and I also met a really neat family that hold political offices and lead a spectacular, liberating life without government interference!

A month on the road ran out way too soon ;/ There were more people I wished to see and things I desired to do. But my work demanded my presence, thus I turned for home. 

The problem with having driven instead of flying was this: 
"Oh! You brought a car! I'm so glad! I've been wanting to give you all this stuff!" 
Said nearly every person I visited. And so, for the last leg of my trip, I couldn't see out the back of my window. But who needs to see outside when you have so many treasures to look upon ;p

Also. 
One of my best friends had the nerve to ask the greatest dog-hater ever to pick up a puppy for her from Texas and haul the little Raggedy-Ann all the way to Montana. Like a fool, I said, yes. And so for four days, I pretended to like dogs. 



The box wasn't comfortable enough I suppose . . . 

My pile of receipts from the trip. Just because I know you all are curious, I spent a little under $900 for the entire month, pleasures and gas included. 

Because road trips ought to be fun, I drove the entire thing without a seatbelt or shoes. Turns out the first is legal in most states, the second is illegal statewide. Odd, yeah? 
Once I left Montana, I was shocked to see the rest of the world still had faces. To be honest, I think COVID had me down more than I was letting on. I've never liked shopping, but now in Montana, it's just horrid. It's become acceptable for employees to be extremely rude. I don't get that. But the rest of the states . . . I was rejuvenated by smiles and accommodating service. 

Many mornings I'd rise at 5am to start driving to my next destination, and would stop at a gas station partway to brush my teeth, etc. One little town seemed extra worried about the virus. But I stopped at a small gas station . . . only to see a sign that said their bathroom was closed. 

"Is there another in town that has one I can use?" 

"Oh, that's just the sign! You can use ours!"

"Oh! May I just go grab my toothbrush first?"

"Of course!" 
I just loved her smile so very much! 

I had a few other minor emergencies where I had to ask for assistance and am just so thankful I was able to find that help from a person who didn't think my face was gonna kill them. 

<<<

I've been home for a few weeks now, and that blissful peace I found hasn't vanished. In fact, maybe it's multiplied. 

There's one Montana town that seems to hate me. But I just remember that the rest of the states aren't near as demonic as that little place ;) My work makes me so happy . . . I have the best clients! I am loving my little house, clothed in curtains I sewed and rugs I found discounted! 

And now what does life look like? What's the next big thing I've planned, you may ask? 

On my way home, I stopped at a friend's place in Colorado and learned to spin for a day . . . she actually took me to the park so she could witness to any passerby as we spun! It was the perfect last stop; final preparation for where I feel I am now heading. 

Yarn I spun!

My spinning wheel, needles, and books all around me calling out gently, "It's alright to just enjoy us this winter. Let the big things be, and learn the art of procrastinating purposefully among good company."

More on that soon :) 

Tell me your news! I plan to go through and read old blogs, but maybe you could help me out by posting/ sharing links with me of the ones you think I ought to see especially! Or that you want me to see ;) I'm so excited to be back! Missed you all like crazy! 

Comments

  1. KETURAH!!! *tackles you in a hug* So glad to have you back!

    Your trip sounds so amazing. I'm so glad it rejuvenated you and taught/showed you so much! (And ok, though, that dog is adorable.)

    I don't think I wrote any particularly earth-shattering posts while you were gone. :P But you did inspire me to take a hiatus, so I'm gonna be temporarily disappearing here in a week or so myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *hugs you back, because I actually kinda like them now!*
      I'm so glad to be back among such amazing people!

      Ahh. It was just how life ought to be! And life is still how it ought to be. Except for a few minor things that I must work on. But that is life, and I'm good with it! Haha.
      (I let myself think so, too, for four days! In a way, I still think so!)

      I don't believe you! I shall go stalk your blog in a bit. And wow. I can't be I've inspired such a tragic occurrence! Don't be gone for as long as I was!!!! Besides, I have some amazing posts in store . . .

      Delete
  2. Yaaay i'm so glad you're back!! I'm glad that your month on the road helped you!! (i could honestly use that myself)

    nothing terribly interesting happened on my blog while you were gone. I mostly just forgot to post on time lolololol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lia, I'd love for you to have a road trip . . . just come visit me ;) Seriously, though! I have a guest room and it's so needing company!

      Wow, you girls are so deprecating toward your blogs. I'm totally going to go found something interesting ;) Ahh! Posting on time! That is a stress of its own!

      Delete
    2. i might just take you up on that :D of course i'd need to buy a car first lolol

      Delete
    3. Well, at least you have a goal for when your car is bought!

      Delete
  3. Ahhh, welcome back! I've missed you and your thought-provoking writing so!!
    Your road trip sounds like one full of introspection and self-discovery, I'm so happy for you and proud of you. :))
    I had a bit of road bumps and learning curves these last few months as well, a lot of learning to love and to trust, it's hard, but it's worth it. <3

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    Replies
    1. Yeah! Thanks, Gray!
      So worth it ;0 But still a bumpy path ahead, aye?

      Delete
  4. I'm so glad you're back, Keturah! I've been awaiting this post, eagerly, for some time. :P What a wonderful trip, and wonderful lessons. I hope (and anticipate) that the coming season of your life will be really beautiful.

    And oh, I WISH I'd known you were in Missouri. I mean, sounds like you might've been WAY too busy to meet up, but still. (Also, I am quite proud of my state and how "...eh. how bout not" people are about the stupid COVID restrictions. though there are, as always, exceptions. and I understand people's fears to some extent. But...I'm proud of my fellow Missourians, still. :P)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, how sweet of you! And yes, I think the upcoming season shall be wondrous. Hard, but that shan't defeat the wonder.

      Oh. I knew you were in Missouri. I should have thought to meet up ;0 I could have probably made it work out. Even though I missed half of my Missouri stops due to some errands my dad needed done ;p

      I think fear can always be understood. But still, it's not the way haha! You have every right to be proud of your fellow Missourians!!!

      Delete
  5. Wow, that's quite a trip. Sounds like it was exactly what you needed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "To think that family separates over issues, mostly over misunderstandings that could have been worked through by laying aside pride and fears; through communicating with loving intentions void of conditions" <--- I feel that deeply! I'm so glad that you were about to connect with your grandparents! That is awesome. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! That's really the heart of this whole post!!

      Delete
  7. This is such a lovely post!!! :D I'm so glad to hear about your wonderful trip and that it really boosted and encouraged you! I especially love that final quote: leave the big things behind and learn to procrastinate purposefully. I feel like I've been learning something similar lately: that it's okay to just... live today. To be creative and to do things I enjoy, rather than forcing myself to feel like I have to work toward something huge all the time. Definitely something to chew on for me. :)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been harder to procrastinate than I thought it would be! Sometimes I feel so awful for not having some huge, definite plan. But most of the time, it's blissful to just rest and work each day. I'm glad it speaks to you, too!!!

      Delete

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